It's the most wonderful time of the year, but it can also be the most stressful. The holiday season is filled with plans that include shopping, parties, traveling, and more. Most of these things are fun to look forward to, but when you struggle with chronic pain, it can impact your ability to do them. Here are some tips for managing your pain during the holidays so you don't miss out on celebrating.
- Make healthy food choices. Although cookies and cocktails might be the preferred choice for many during the holidays, an unhealthy holiday diet may cause a painful flare-up. Anti-inflammatory choices like avocados, brussels sprouts, spinach, blueberries, and strawberries will serve you better. Also, be sure you're getting enough healthy fats and vitamin D.
- Find support. Research suggests there is a correlation between increased pain and depression, especially during the holidays. If your pain is causing you to feel hopeless, talk to your doctor and/or a therapist. Join a support group for those struggling with similar problems.
- Manage holiday stress. Try not to take on too much during the holiday season. Pick and choose your activities carefully so you have enough energy to do the things you want to do. Limit travel if necessary, which can exacerbate your symptoms.
- Consider natural remedies. Sometimes pain medications can leave you with a host of side effects like nausea, sleepiness, and stomach issues. When you feel physically sick, you certainly won't want to attend a corporate party or family luncheon. Think about using a natural alternative like Milkweed Balm to soothe muscles. Made with anti-inflammatory and natural ingredients, Milkweed Balm safely soothes when used topically.
- Exercise. Talk to your doctor about starting an exercise program. Walking or gentle yoga may help alleviate symptoms and give you more energy.
Sometimes painful flare-ups can't be avoided, no matter what you do. If you are noticing an increase in your pain, call your doctor right away. The sooner you can get it under control, the better you will feel. Don't let pain take away the joy you want to experience this holiday season.